[Jandek] The New Album

Paul Condon paulgcondon at gmail.com
Mon Jul 25 05:49:48 PDT 2005

It sounds like the tone or treble control is turned all the way down
on the bass, and it's also tuned very low. The playing consists mostly
of rumbling low tones, with the occasional swoop up the neck to pick
out a melody. When the quite high vocals first appear a couple of
minutes in, it's quite a jarring effect. It's a particularly hypnotic,
sleepy record.
Anyone disappointed that Jandek has been overly gregarious of late
will be pleased with the opener, What Things Are, which sees him
stumbling around in the darkness of his hermetic retreat. You Ancient
returns to the food theme that has been appearing a lot on recent
records, but in a more positive way, giving thanks to the "food
Take My Will is a much more wasted take on the original. Comparing it
to the original version, the impression is of an older, more tired
individual, still sticking to the same principles despite the
increasing difficulty of doing so  - or still failing to stick to
them, depending on how you read it. I didn't notice any additional
lyrics in this version - I think the additional length is due to it
being taken a lot slower. The original melody is approximated vocally
but not on the bass.
The standout track for me is New Rendezvous, lyrically the most
positive Jandek song I can think of, dealing with triumph over
Like A Kingdom He Likes, the album doesn't follow a specific single
theme. Overall, in comparison to the other bass albums, after a couple
of listens I'd say it's better than Shadow of Leaves though maybe not
quite as gripping as The Gone Wait.
With more gigs coming up and two storming live sets yet to be
released, it's easy to be blase about what can be seen as merely
another quarterly communique from planet Corwood... but like any
Jandek album there's plenty here to ponder over when the lights are
I'll transcribe the lyrics and post them in a couple of days if no-one
has already...

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